Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation announced the first of many funding grants to contribute to closing the gap in eye health to improve vision outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The aim is to decrease the barriers to receiving ophthalmic care as well as the number of discharges due to financial hardship.
The case for funding
The prevalence of blindness and vision impairment in Indigenous Australians is three times that of non – Indigenous Australians.
Vision loss is the most common self-reported health complaint and is equal third (with trauma) in leading causes in the health gap for Indigenous Australians. Its impact on the individual, their family and community have evident repercussions.
Aunty Linda Boney, Aboriginal Liaison Officer at Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital (pictured above with a grateful patient) reports that Aboriginal people are less likely to access health services and more likely to leave hospital before they are advised to, largely due to financial consideration.
The Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation was able to provide a $12,500 grant to provide for family and essential support for the duration of hospital stays for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Sydney and regional NSW in 2021.
In 2022-2023 the Foundation is continuing the critical care funding by allocating a further $15,000 to helping regional and remote First Nations patients in accessing critical care.
Donors to the Foundation enabled this support along with the fundamental role Auntie Linda plays in helping indigenous patients in seeking and receiving their full treatment, vital to improving health outcomes.
“Family support is vital in keeping patients in hospital and accessing care and we’re thrilled to be working in partnership with the Foundation to help patients receive the care and specialist eye service they need.”- Aunty Linda Boney, Aboriginal Liaison Officer at Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital